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HumpLinks: On the Eve of Eves

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Things are slow. Let's have some fun with random stuff...

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Major League Baseball is on cruise control right now, so let's just go long and see waht kinds of odds and ends we can gather up on this Wednesday, perhaps the last day of the week you are going to be paying much attention anyway.

Here is the day you have all been waiting for during this December filled with special holidays!  Enjoy some National Festivus Links:

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Everywhere In Baseball

In the Cards: St. Louis is still going after major upgrades, and yesterday the Cards grabbed Mike Leake off the market. Before options, the deal supposedly comes in at $16MM AAV. That is right where he was predicted to come in. Since Leake was traded from the Reds to the Giants last season, the Cards don't surrender a draft pick for this one. And, in the end, Leake as value for that money is a good get.............

Rising Stock: The Miami Marlins are looking to take advantage of the dwindling Free Agent market for top-notch pitching, and the trade price for Jose Fernandez is going up. The Dodgers, getting even more desparate to fix their rotation as the 2015 winter passes them by, had already seen the demand of 5 young players including Corey Seager and Joc Pederson. They can now expect to be asked for the keys to Dodgers Stadium or something..........

Ponzi Baseball: The Wilpons continue to be a plague upon MLB. Having gotten burned royally by the Bernie Madoff scheme where they hoped that their privileged insider access would get them even richer, quicker, they are taking out their woes on their fans. In fact, since they are being floated by a "loan" from MLB itself, the kind of loan that insiders don't have to worry about making timely payments towards, it's on all of us. But in this particular article, the emphasis is on missing the chance to bolster a squad that just missed out on a WS title...........

Sosh the Stathead: Continuing on with the MLB manager interviews, when getting feedback on how various skippers deal with the third time through a rotation when batters typically become a lot more effective (though not as effective as Mike Trout, Velociraptor), Mike Scioscia says some things that are downright scary. He exposes an awareness of - gasp! - data!!! "I think there is more specialized data that helps you [with] the decision-making process, when a pitcher it finished. I think as a rule, in the macro, you’re right about the third time around being more of an offensive match-up for hitters. But there are some specific things within pitchers that show maybe it’s not every pitcher, or maybe it’s not to the degree that is going to be impactful..."..........

Not So Old After All: Turner Field, that run-down stadium that the Atlanta Braves are forced to flee so that they can sustain their franchise and entertain their fans safely and conveniently - most importantly the more pale and profitable fans who live out in the suburbs - has found a new purpose. It was purchased by Georgia State University and will be converted into a football stadium to serve the Georgie State Panthers and their fans safely and conveniently. Go figure..........

Bill James, Human: Once upon a time Bill Jmaes took a long view of baseball, and made some predictions for the then faway away 2015 season. The results are less than perfect. But hats off to him for trying.........

Long(ish) form: Just some good winter reading about the time that career utility player, one who spent much of his bouncing up and down as a minor leaguer, finally found himself in a Sunday game at Candlestick Park, and for the next three games he utterly ruled Major League Baseball...........

Last-minute Gift Giving: Angel Stadium 1000 piece panorama puzzle..........Most unusual minor league oddball caps..........

Fun moments: Tom Brice hits a Mele Kalikimaka ball..........MLB mascots go crazy..........Earl Weaver sure knew how to show some spitfire...........Josh Gibson was a legend...........Bing Crosby sure was a superstitious nut.........The Frisco Roughriders minor league team is coming to the rescue of the jilted Miss Colombia..........Will Ferrell. Enough said..........

Even more fun moment: It appears that Harold Reyolds and Tom Verducci are getting kicked out of the FOX baseball booth. John Smoltz will be the replacement. Life just got a little bit better for baseball fans everywhere...........

OT: Roller coaster physics GIF. Mesmerizing..........

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